Chris Matthews Compares Gavin Newsom to Executed Civil War-Era Abolitionist, America Is Now 'Half Slave'

 Though Chris Matthews was happy with Wednesday's Supreme Court rulings in support of gay marriage, the liberal host still used hyperbolic rhetoric to describe the state of the country and the Democratic Lieutenant Governor of California. Talking to Gavin Newsom, Matthews praised the politician, comparing him to an executed Civil War abolitionist: "In effect, you were sort of like John Brown or something back in the Civil War days- pre- Civil War days." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

Brown lead an armed insurrection against the institution of slavery. He was tried and hanged. It's hard to compare Newsom's political actions in support of gay rights to that. Later, Matthews wondered about states that still ban same-sex marriage. He sneered, "What are we going to do if we have a country that ends up being divided this way, like almost like half slave and half free?"

A partial transcript of the June 26 segment is below:


5:08

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me go to Gavin Newsom. Governor, thanks for joining us. You were out front on this. You were a pioneer. In effect, you were sort of like John Brown or something back in the Civil War days- pre- Civil War days. You were so far out, you got in trouble for it. If Prop 22 [sic] came up today-- not 22, Prop 8– if this it came up today, the one that basically banned same sex marriage, it looked like it was getting so close, 52-48, that it would go the other way now.

LT. GOV GAVIN NEWSOM: Yeah, no. No question about it.

...

MATTHEWS: Well, let me ask you about this, Chris Quinn, and New York here and this whole question of the country. What are we going to do if we have a country that ends up being divided this way, like almost like half slave and half free? You're going to have parts of the country where the federal government supports you. You get Social Security. You get retirement. You get all kinds of advantages. In the military, I guess, they're going to recognize that fully now. Every right that comes to you as a straight person, you get as a gay person. But, the minute you step out of your state to go retire where it's warmer, I was kind of struck by what Pete, who is our expert said.

CHRISTINE QUINN (New York City Council Speaker): Look, this is not the full victory, but it's a great step forward. And we should be really happy today and really gratified but shouldn't be satisfied, because we can't really be satisfied until marriage equality is a right for everybody in every state.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org